The Wandering Taoist

The Wandering Taoist - April 27th, 2007 GREL 101 Section 10...

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April 27 th , 2007 GREL 101 Section 10 David K. Mathies The Wandering Taoist As stated by the main character’s wise grandfather Guan Jiuyin, “Tao is the flow of the universe. Tao is the Mysterious. Tao is balance” (Ming-Dao 36). This definition simplifies to the idea that Tao is the flow of the universe and is what keeps nature in balance and in order. Taoists focus on finding inner spirituality, learning different techniques in aiding their path towards inner peace, and reaching immortality. The Wandering Taoist tells the story of Kwan Saihung, a young Chinese boy who leaves his family at a young age and moves to the monastic Haushan Mountains to become a true Taoist immortal and master, and the journeys and obstacles he faces along the way. In the novel, the author tells the eventful story of Saihung from the time he spent with his family to the moment he reached immortality. He was born into a rich, high- class warrior clan in China. He lived with his grandfather, Guan Jiuyin, and grandmother, Ma Sixing in an immense mansion along with the rest of his family, until the age of nine. After an encounter with a Grand Master by the name of Da Shi at a Taoist festival, he was sent off to start his education and training of Taoism. Saihung lived a majority of his life in the secluded Huashan Mountains to strengthen his understanding of different Taoist elements including Qi, Qigong, and Jing. He endured tedious studies of other fundamental Taoist practices such as meditation, internal alchemy, healing, martial arts, herbalism and asceticism. Saihung practiced different types of martial arts until mastery. The masters of the Huashan temples emphasized the importance of staying level-headed and calm instead of becoming cocky and self-
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infatuated; humility was often used as rude awakening for those students getting ahead of them. After years of study, Saihung left the monastery to fight in a war going on between China and Japan and to travel as a “wandering Taoist” throughout different countries without permission from his master. He spent a few years away and realizes that the surrounding world was not for him and that war had no point. He returned to the Haushan Mountains and finished the rest of his studies until he finally reached immortality and became a master himself. Through all the obstacles Saihung faced, he
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The Wandering Taoist - April 27th, 2007 GREL 101 Section 10...

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